Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Eagles to dump all their free agents
By Dan Graziano
So this is kind of unexpected. Jonathan Tamari reports that the Eagles are planning to let all of their unsigned free agents leave town, "including starters such as Stewart Bradley, Quintin Mikell and Sav Rocca and backup running back Jerome Harrison."
Obviously, the first reaction to news such as this is that the Eagles are clearing room for a big signing such as cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. And that may very well be the case. Someone will pay Asomugha's price, the Eagles need a cornerback and he likes the East Coast. The move makes a ton of sense, no matter how many people tell me they'd rather have a worse player, such as Ike Taylor or Johnathan Joseph.
Obviously, this also raises questions, though. Such as...
1. Who will play linebacker? If Bradley goes, they can play Jamar Chaney in the middle, as they did last year when Bradley was hurt, and start Moise Fokou and Keenan Clayton at the outside spots. Or they could sign a linebacker, middle or otherwise, from the large pool of available free-agents. Or they could get one in exchange for Kevin Kolb. Options are there, though I'm a little surprised that they're letting Bradley walk. They do like his talent, but they must be sick of the injuries.
2. Who will back up LeSean McCoy? Well, there will be veterans available for that spot. Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee, maybe even old friend Brian Westbrook, in addition to many others, are out there. Harrison is very good, though, and a better viable starter should something happen to McCoy than any of those others guys are at this point in their careers. The Eagles will be in the running back market.
3. Who punts? I don't buy that they drafted Alex Henery to punt. I think he's David Akers' replacement at kicker and they'll find a punter. Punters kind of come and go, right?
4. Are they really going that young at safety? Yeah, the Mikell move isn't unexpected, but it does leave them with Nate Allen and rookie Jaiquawn Jarrett as the most likely starting safeties. Kurt Coleman and Marlin Jackson may yet be heard from on that front, but Mikell is a leader who will be missed.
The Eagles said they'd be busy, and it looks as if they'll be in a position to fulfill that promise.